Activities that are appropriate for Muslim children should take into account the beliefs of the Islamic culture. While young girls are captivated by Barbie, the doll's flamboyant clothing fails to reflect Islamic values. The Muslim answer to Barbie is Razanne, a doll that wears a hijab. Because Muslims only worship God, they don't depict humans or animals in their religious art. Instead, they use geometric designs or calligraphy. In addition to products developed by web and game developers for Muslim children, you can also tailor arts and crafts activities to honour Islamic beliefs.
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Create the shapes of diamonds and squares out of white paper or craft foam. Depending on the age of the child, you can adjust the size of the shapes. Colour one stack of diamonds blue and another stack of diamonds red. Colour the squares yellow. Model a geometric design by creating a flower in the middle of the design with red diamonds, placing their points adjacent to each other. Angle the yellow squares and insert them into the triangular grooves created at the outer perimeter of the flower. Place the blue diamonds into the grooves created by the yellow squares. Have the children first mimic your model to grow accustomed to using the shapes. Challenge them to innovate and create their own designs.
Have the children create a mobile which features the names of the four prophets, including Jesus, Abraham, Moses and Muhammad. Hand out paper towel rolls. Have the children poke four equidistant holes along the bottom of the roll and thread a string through the roll. Have them knot the ends of the string to create a hanger. Create templates of the letters, "J," "M," "A," and "M," and have very young children decorate the letters with crayons. Demonstrate to older children how to write the prophets' names in calligraphy, using a paint brush. Paste the letters or calligraphy to four squares of construction paper. Punch holes through the squares and thread each square with yarn, knotting the ends. Thread the other ends of the yarn through the four holes in the paper towel roll, and knot to complete the mobile.
Identify board games that have been made for Muslim children. For example, "Madinah Salat Fun Game" teaches the Salat, or prayer, to children ages 8 and up. Players learn about the five daily prayers, related vocabulary and other special prayers. The first player to complete a faithful journey wins the game. The "Mecca to Medina Game" challenges players to complete four trading routes, venturing between two holy cities. Children ages 8 and up learn to bargain with other players to accumulate resources, buying speciality cards with caravans and camels and avoiding cards that cause disruptive events.
Encourage children to visit websites dedicated to games and activities for Muslims. For example, the Islam for Parents website offers interactive word searches that cover the five daily prayers, the Prophet's wives, names of angels and famous mosques. Muslim children can find a wide range of activities, such as Arabic alphabet games and Islamic stories and jigsaw puzzles, on the Islamic Playground website.
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